Speaker: Des Roches, D. (National Defense University)
Date: 10 January 2019
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Professor David Des Roches (National Defense University) as a part of its SMA CENTCOM Speaker Series. Prof. Des Roches began his presentation by discussing the details of the $110B arms deal that US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud negotiated during the Riyadh Summit. He clarified that rather than an exchange of a lump sum of money, this agreement was a statement of intent, and it included $13.748B of sales that had been approved during the Obama Administration. Prof. Des Roches detailed how much of the $110B is composed of sales approved prior to the Riyadh Summit and sales notified after Riyadh in 2017 and 2018. He then spoke about the Saudi Land Force, Saudi Command and Control, US Air Force, and US Navy sales that have yet to be approved. In addition, he discussed a variety of THAAD issues and potential congressional opposition that could prevent these sales from being approved. Prof. Des Roches concluded his presentation by explaining how the murder of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, has delayed and could prevent some of these arms deals from taking place, positing potential workarounds, and describing the current state of US-Saudi relations.